There is something about gaps in resumes that hiring managers don’t like. Well there are many things they don’t like, but gaps are a big one. Hiring managers are under the false impression that all job searchers do all day is sit in front of the television. But job searchers know that looking for a job is a full-time job.
However, job search on your résumé isn’t going to impress anyone. So what is a job searcher to do? Volunteer. It serves many purposes.
Volunteering closes gaps in your résumé. Instead of seeing a time span with nothing to show for it, they see a time where you were doing something. If it’s related to your career, all the better. But when they ask you in an interview what have you been doing since your last job, and the only thing you have to answer is looking for a job, it will raise flags. If you are able to say that you have been as helping others or improving your community, they will look favorably on your résumé.
Volunteering helps your skills. You keep your current skills sharp and learn new skills to add to your résumé. There are many people competing for few jobs. Keeping your skills current is one way to stay competitive. Learning new skills is that much better.
Volunteering gets you out and around people. You are getting out of the house and meeting different people who know other people. If they know you are volunteering while in transition, they will think of you when they hear of something that might interest you. You never know who will be volunteering with you.
Volunteering is also good for you. There is something about helping others that makes you feel good about yourself. Your esteem is lifted, and your confidence is boosted. People who are happy and positive do better than those who are not.
Volunteering is a win/win for you and those you help. Volunteering isn’t all about you getting a job; it’s about you doing something good for someone else. I have volunteered at many events and places over the years. The people I have met volunteering are wonderful people. I left the event happier than when I arrived, because I was working with others to meet a goal.
Volunteering could lead to a job. I had been a volunteer at the religious program at my church for several years. The director of the program retired and recommended me for the position. The pastor saw me at an event, told me about the position and offered it to me right there. I didn’t apply or interview. My volunteer work was proof enough.
Not all volunteering will lead to a job or teach you new skills, but it will get you out of the house and meeting new people. It will change your mood and help others in need. And when the interviewer asks you have done since your last job, you will have something to share.